Political Science at Aquinas College

Political Science Courses

PS101 American Government and Politics (3) SS1/SS2

This course is an introduction to the power, structures and functions of the American Government and Political System. Fundamental is a critical examination of the institutions and players who interact in the processes of American politics.

PS150 The World in Crisis (3) SS1/SS2, GP

Introduction to the dynamics of global interaction and international relations. Developing of a basic understanding of the international system and modes of conflict and cooperation in international problem areas such as Bosnia, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Chiapas, East Los Angeles, Haiti, Somalia, American Embassies, Tokyo subways, Iraq, Kuwait, Arab-Israeli relations, human rights violations, armed conflict, poverty, environmental degradation, religious confrontation and diplomacy.

PS203 Urban Government and Politics (3) SS1/SS2

The governance and problems of cities is the focus of this course. Planning, decision-making, issues and solutions are developed in this introduction to the politics and power structures in America’s Urban settings.

PS205 State Government and Politics (3) SS1/SS2

Introduction of the institutions and politics of state governments with special emphasis on Michigan. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS210 The Presidency and Congress (3) SS1/SS2

In-depth look at these branches of national government, relationships to each other and to other parts of the political community. Prerequisite: PS101.

PS212/CN212/BS212 Parliamentary Procedure (1) SS1/SS2

This one semester hours course in parliamentary procedure is designed to familiarize the student with fundamental practices in the process and procedures of rules of order as practiced in organizations and businesses.

PS220 Politics and Elections (3) SS1/SS2

Modern political campaigns, election process, role of political process in government. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS260 Politics and the News Media (3) SS1/SS2

Role of the news media in process of government and functioning of the political system. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS310 Modern Political Problems Seminar (3) SS1/SS2

Topics vary on vogue and interesting issues.

PS312/PH312 Political Thought: Its Histories & Concepts (3) SS1/SS2

Highlights of the history of political philosophy, Ancients, Medieval, Modern social contract theories, Marxism, liberalism, and postmodernism, using primary and secondary source materials. Deals with the relationship between politics and truth; the nature of political authority; democratic theory; the nature of the good society and its relationship to particular theories of human nature. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS314 Constitutional Law I (3) SS1/SS2

This course is to provide undergraduate students exposure to the constitutional interpretations regarding the balance of powers created in the U.S. Constitution. Specific sections of the Constitution covered in this class include: justiciability, presidential and executive powers including war powers, congressional powers, tax and spending clause, commerce clause, federalism and state rights, voting rights, and economic rights. Prerequisites: PS101.

PS315 Constitutional Law II (3) SS1/SS2

This course is to provide undergraduate students exposure to the constitutional interpretations regarding American civil rights and liberties as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Specific clauses of the U.S. Constitution covered in this class include: Judicial review (authority of the federal courts), the contracts clause, the due process clause, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, (dis) establishment of religion, free exercise of religion, guarantee against unreasonable search and seizures, exclusionary rule, 5th Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination, police interrogation, right to counsel, guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, the right to privacy, and the equal protection clause prohibiting discrimination. Prerequisites: PS101.

PS316 Moot Court (3) SS1/SS2

This course is designed to provide undergraduate students an experience closely comparable to actual appellate practice by attorneys. The course is divided into two sections. In Part I of the course, students will prepare a draft and final version of an appellate brief. In Part II of the course, students will present a practice and then a final oral argument. Finally, teams will compete against other undergraduate teams at a regional competition to be held at the end of the semester. Winners of this regional tournament will be invited to participate in the national tournament. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS321 American Political Thought (3) SS1/SS2, WI

Fundamental principles derived from the Constitution and The Federalist as context of modern problems. Prerequisite: PS101 or HY101 or HY102.

PS325/WS325 Feminist Theory and Activism (3) SS1/SS2

This course is designed to explore different ways of thinking about sex/gender, power, and justice, and examines how different theories of gender, power and justice shape political activism. By comparing a variety of theoretical perspectives (such as liberal, Marxist and radical feminism), we look at different possibilities for analyzing core feminist concepts and the practical implications of theory. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS331 European Politics (3) SS1/SS2

Government and politics of England, France, West Germany, and the Soviet Union, comparison to each other and to the United States.

PS332 Politics of Developing Countries (3) SS1/SS2

Exploration and comparison of government and politics in various developing areas of the world. Fundamental analysis of the issues of development within a comparative framework and political economy is emphasized.

PS333 Politics of Latin America (3) SS1/SS2

Comparative examination of politics and governments in Latin America. Examine the internal politics and policy making, political institutions, cultures and locus of power in “newly industrialized states,” socialist states, less developed states, and developing states of Latin America.

PS334 Mid East Politics (3) SS1/SS2

An in-depth examination of politics and foreign policy in the Middle East. Issues discussed include Arab-Israeli-Palestinian relationships, specific interstate rivalries in the Middle East (Iran v Iraq), the role of super-power politics, ongoing Middle East Peace negotiations, the political economy of oil, and the effect of religious diversity on politics. Participation in the Model Arab League may also be a part of this course.

PS335 The Politics of Africa (3) SS1/SS2

The comparative examination of the politics and governments of African states. Issues of development, culture, and political economy are discussed. Political interaction within and between African states is examined.

PS340/BS340 Public Administration (3)

Have you ever wondered about the inner-workings of public programs? This course introduces the theory and practical skills involved in working with public agencies and implementing public policy. Issues of democratic participation and bureaucratic inertia are fundamental to this critical examination of the administration of public policy. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS346/SB346/EL346 Environmental Policy and Politics: Issues & Approaches (3) SS1/SS2

Introduction to environmental policy as a focus of public policy. The forces and frameworks shaping environmental policy as well as the influence of various actors will be examined through analysis of key environmental issues. PS 101 or EL100; or instructor permission

PS350 Methods and Inquiry in Political Science (3) SS1/SS2

This course is designed as a critical inquiry into social scientific research practices. While the course is primarily concerned with practical problems of how to conduct research, it also addresses philosophical problems that lead people to approach research in different ways. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior

PS376/ES376 Public Sector Economics (3) SS1/SS2

Public Sector Economics is the study of tax and expenditure policy and theory. Public goods (education, infrastructure, etc.) require unique funding mechanisms to induce economic efficiency. Public sector economics is the study of these mechanisms. Beginning with a treatment of the median-voter model and utility maximization, the course charts a robust discussion of the interaction between government and citizen as taxes are collected, revenues are spent, and the efficiencies/inefficiencies of these mechanisms are uncovered. The course will focus on both the theoretical foundations of public sector economics and what the empirical research as to say about theory. Prerequisites: E211 and ES212. An understanding of algebra is mandatory and an understanding of calculus will be beneficial. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS387 International Relations (3) SS1/SS2, WI

This is an upper-division course on the contemporary history and theory of international relations. Examined is the interaction of various international actors such as nation-states, international organizations and regimes, multinational corporations and even individuals and groups who influence world politics. International Political Economy and Post-Cold War Crises are emphasized. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

PS388 American Foreign Policy (3) SS1/SS2

This course is designed as a critical examination and in-depth evaluation of American Foreign Policy. The actors and processes involved in making and executing foreign policy will be examined, along with the policy perspectives of the major nation-states and international organizations with which the United States interacts. We will look at the history of US foreign policy, with a special emphasis on 20th century interaction. Specifically, we will study: US–Soviet/Russian relations, the rise and decline of US Hegemony, United States–Japanese and Sino relations, American policy toward West and East Europe, US policy in Central and Latin America, US policy toward Africa, and American foreign economic policy. Emphasis is placed on counter-revolution and counter terror policies. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

PS389 National Security Policy (3) SS1/SS2

This course provides an introduction to the legal issues surrounding national security and counterterrorism policy. This class will primarily focus on domestic legal issues. Students will have a final exam and develop a paper on a national security issue of their choosing. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

PS390 International Law (3) SS1/SS2

In-depth study of law and mores guiding nations and individuals in relations with other nations and peoples. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval.

PS391 International Organizations (3) SS1/SS2

Theory and practice of international organizations; successes, failures and operations of United Nations and various regional integrative efforts. Theories of integration. Participation in the Model United Nations may also be a part of this course. Prerequisite: PS150 or Instructor approval

PS392 Model United Nations I/II/III (1) SS1/SS2

Students practice all the skills of diplomacy including negotiation, problem solving, role-playing, and compromise while representing diplomats from the 192 members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Security Council, or one of many other UN Agencies at the annual Model United Nations conference. Issues range from the US embargo on Cuba to nuclear weapons proliferation to AIDs and world hunger. PS392 Model United Nations I / II or III credit does not count toward the Political Science major or Political Science minor. (PS391 International Organizations counts toward the Political Science major and minor.)

PS393 Model Arab League I/II/III (1) SS1/SS2

Students practice all the skills of diplomacy including negotiation, problem solving, role-playing, and compromise while representing diplomats from the twenty-two (22) members of the League of Arab States at the annual Model Arab League conference. Countries Aquinas students have represented include Libya, Palestine Authority, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Kuwait. Issues range from the creation of a Palestinian state to the environmental impact of oil. Potential participation in Washington, DC with the National Council of US-Arab Relations. Credit for PS393 Model Arab League I / II or III does not count toward the Political Science major or Political Science minor. (PS391 International Organizations counts toward the Political Science major and minor.)

PS397 Field Experience in Political Science (Variable) SS1/SS2

Up to three (3) semester hours of internship or experience in a field directly related to Political Science, negotiated between major advisor and student. Prerequisite: approval of the department chairperson.

PS398 Readings in Political Science (Variable) SS1/SS2

Individually-negotiated program of readings on selected topic established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: approval of the department chairperson.

PS399 Independent Project (Variable) SS1/SS2

Individually-negotiated project of defined nature established by contract between instructor and student. No more than two (2) semester hours of electives in Model United Nations or Model Arab League can be applied to the major. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: approval of the department chairperson.

PS400 Senior Capstone Seminar (2) SS1/SS2, SC

This 2-credit course is designed as a Senior Capstone for Political Science Majors. It will include review of the discipline as well as a critical examination and in-depth evaluation of the work produced in various required courses for the major. It will also require the development and presentation of a major thesis-driven paper. To be taken fall semester of the senior year.

PS494 Modern Political Problems (3) SS1/SS2

Course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of geopolitical and critical geopolitical thinking, as well as a survey of predominant individuals, writings, and films which have contributed to our collective understanding of the modern world order. While a lecture component will be incorporated to introduce key geographical, political, cultural, and philosophical concepts, the backbone of the course will be an open discussion/seminar format. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.